It was only a matter of time: even big museums such as British Museum are increasingly approaching the world of crypto and NFTs.
The British Museum with NFTs and works by Hokusai
Among the first to do so, just a few months ago, Miami’s Institute of Contemporary Art acquired the NFT CryptoPunk 5293 by donation. Then it was the turn of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, which evaluated the issuance of NFTs for works of art from its rich collection through Binance.
Now it is the turn of a historic institution, the British Museum, which with a collection of some 8 million objects and works of art, chooses to open its doors to digital and does so for a major exhibition.
Marketing move or not, the agreement to tokenize 200 works by Hokusai – 100 digital images of the works on display, including the famous “The Great Wave”, while another 100 come from the museum’s collection – has been closed by the British Museum with the new French platform LaCollection.io.
Craig Bendle, the museum’s head of licensing, was delighted, telling Georgina Adam for The Art Newspaper: “It is so important that as a museum we continually adapt to new markets and find new ways of reaching people that we may not reach through traditional channels”.
Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” as NFTs
Hokusai’s Non Fungible Tokens will be sold from 30 September in fiat and cryptocurrencies with a base price of $500 and according to different levels of rarity: only two NFTs of Hokusai’s masterpiece “The Great Wave” will be on sale, considered “ultra-rare” NFTs, specified LaCollection.io co-founder Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps. Other works will be offered in editions of 1,000 and 10,000.
Beaucamps didn’t elaborate on the royalties, but in case of resale on the secondary market – including OpenSea – 10% will go to the British Museum and 3% to LaCollection.io.
It is increasingly clear at this point – almost a year after the great NFT boom – that the traditional art market and its players are no longer so distant from cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, metaverses and NFTs.